I now better understand the odds against all of this: a male, Caucasian physician, living in the firm grasp of an ESTJ cultural weltanschauung awakens to the soul’s desperate pleading late in life. That the soul seeks to live forward something alien, foreign, and predictably destructive is now so comprehensible. Nothing heroic is here, merely a journey of survival.
4 - Anima/Animus
The constant tension and accompanying fatigue in my waking life might be seen as the price I paid for the maintenance of a persona that had outlived its utility. The executioner lurking in the demonic position grew potent in the shadows, but the inferior function was rising. Energetically, a talisman was constellated, signifying a burning away of an inauthentic outer mask.
Couples often wonder whether they are “ready” for such a commitment. I look for situations when each person’s “sore spot” is activated. When a couple is able to hold the tension of the activated inferior function and find a way to make their relationship a vehicle for the development of personality, then they are “ready” for marriage in one of the most crucial ways.
Many women, and not least women with dominant Ni, intuitively know that their spirituality, their creativity, and their sexuality arise from the same source. The priestess may be found in all walks of life; she is the woman who mediates between matter and spirit, between the human and divine realms, who “will always honor sexual energy as a link to the source of life itself.”
I’ve discovered that the functions express their unique influence through the tao of the Greek goddess Artemis—an archetypal propensity richly endowed with autonomous power, fierce agency, determined focus, profound self-sufficiency and capacity for self-care, and enormous ability to maintain a connection with the purity of a thalassic and lunar soul.
Humanity is being summoned to change its perspective in an assortment of ways. When a pandemic wipes the calendar clean, the heroes are not the rich, successful, and scholarly; the heroes are those at the bottom of the economic hierarchy, the people who are risking their health to maintain normalcy during isolation and self-quarantining.
Cassandra represents the difficulty of expressing one’s own truth in a way that is persuasive and influential in the world, particularly a truth that is not androcentric. The weakening of the voice of the dream ego represents the suppression and repression of the feminine that results from continuing to rely on old ways of exerting influence.
My ongoing experience with grief in relation to my inferior function has brought forth dysfunctional behavior as well as an increase in consciousness and differentiation. It has enhanced my awareness of the healing capacity and vulnerability of the inferior function. I have come to see that the vulnerability is necessary.
When I first learned about typology in the mid 1990s, I set out to conquer the inferior function. After all, I wanted to develop in every way possible, and surely that meant quashing anything inferior! More recently, however, I have come to appreciate the power of this gremlin to draw me closer to the middle realm of dreams and imagination, where wisdom rises from the depths.
The beauty, of course, comes with surrender. When we surrender to the gifts of the inferior function, allowing it to walk beside us hand in hand rather than dragging it behind us like some burdensome weight, consciousness shifts, a new view opens before us, and the world becomes a different place because we have allowed ourselves to become different in its presence.